HealthWatch: Cancer-Detecting App; First-Time Dads Getting Older

BOSTON (CBS) — Pancreatic cancer usually has a poor prognosis, often because it’s caught too late, but could your smartphone one day give you an early warning?

Researchers at the University of Washington are developing the BiliScreen app, which will allow people to screen themselves for pancreatic cancer and other diseases by snapping a selfie.

biliscreen1 HealthWatch: Cancer Detecting App; First Time Dads Getting Older

The Biliscreen app in use. (WBZ-TV)

One of the earliest signs of pancreatic cancer, and other conditions like hepatitis, is jaundice or yellowing of the eyes, which is caused by a build-up of a pigment called bilirubin in the blood.

This BiliScreen app uses the smartphone camera and additional technology to look for elevations of bilirubin that may be not be visible to the naked eye and warn users that they should be further evaluated.

FIRST-TIME DADS GETTING OLDER

First-time dads are getting a little “long in the tooth.”

Researchers looked at federal birth records and found that fathers of newborns are now 3 ½ years older than they were back in the early 1970s, with the average age rising from 27 years to 31 years.

And the percentage of births to fathers over 40 has more than doubled to 9%.

There’s been a lot of talk about how moms are getting older, but rarely do we look at dads in this way.

But it’s important because while the average age of first-time dads is still pretty young, there are more men have babies even later in life, into their 40s and beyond.

Greater paternal age is associated with certain health conditions in offspring like autism and schizophrenia, but older dads tend to be more financially stable and are often more involved in their kids’ lives.

More from Dr. Mallika Marshall
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